Fishing for Customers

22 07 2014

When little Maria wanted to learn to fish, she asked her father to take her out on the lake to teach her. Her father eagerly agreed, glad to encourage his daughter’s interest in his favorite pastime. They got two rods, a few lures, and a net, then set out around dusk. As soon as the boat left the dock, Maria started preparing to cast her fishing line, but her father told her to wait, so she sat back down. A few minutes later, they had reached the middle of the lake, so she once again got ready to cast out, but again her father told her to wait. Finally, they began to get a little closer to an island about 500 yards from the shoreline. Her father cut the main motor and began to use the paddles to get the boat in a little closer. Once he had found just the right position, he turned to his daughter.

“Maria,” he explained, “this lake is filled with fish. When you first attempted to cast your line, we were going a bit too fast and were heading into deeper water. The second time, we were in the middle of the lake, still going a bit too fast for a good cast. Is it possible that you may have caught a fish there? Yes, but it would have taken much more time and effort than around here. Around this island, the water is still deep, but there are plenty of rocks and shelters for the fish to hide. This makes it a more attractive place for them and a better place for us to catch them.”

As Maria learned that day, sometimes waiting for the right moment and knowing how to find the right spot can make an enormous difference in the amount of effort needed to accomplish a task. This same idea applies to finding customers for your business.

Fishing for customers

Just like the fish Maria and her father sought, the customers you and your business seek are more likely to be found in certain places. It’s certainly possible to run a marketing campaign that consists of broadcasting the company message across a large number of platforms in an effort to reach more people. Undoubtedly, this marketing campaign will snag some ‘fish.’ On the other hand, it’s also guaranteed to require more resources and energy than a more targeted approach.

Figuring out where the customers are

Determining where exactly you can go to find your best customers will allow you to promote your brand and encourage more people to enter the sales cycle with significantly less expense. The most common way to accomplish this is through market research that examines:

  1. Who your most likely customers will be
  2. What matters most to these customers
  3. Where these customers can be found

To determine these answers, start with polls, surveys, and research among your existing customers and your anticipated demographic. Look also at what the rest of your industry has to say. Statistics about the efficacy of different marketing campaigns on different demographic groups will be helpful, too. Combine these sources to create a successful and efficient marketing campaign.

In many ways, marketing is like fishing. As any experienced angler will tell you, you have to learn where the fish are congregated to make the most of your day. The same goes for marketing. Put these lessons to use, and watch your marketing campaigns grow.

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